Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic figure among the world's great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.
Public Domain (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks
Constantine Gregory decided to give a reading of the Constance Garnett translation of "The Brothers Karamazov". Constance Garnett is no longer considered the best translator of Dostoevsky. She goes to great length to "pretty up" the rather rough and bumpy language of the original. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s new translation of "The Brothers Karamazov" is now regarded by most critics to be definitive as it does not try to mask Dostoyevskys idiosyncratic prose.
Gregory gives a rather calm and relaxed rendering of the work, which is nice in the long run.
My dream "audio" Karamazov would be David Horovitch narrating the Pevear and Volokhonsky’s translation.
However as it stands now, this version by Constantine Gregory is the best "Karamazov" available.
Yes. I need the momentum of the audio version, during some of those long Russian monologues. I like alternating between audio and text. This audio is the Constance Garnett translation which sounds good on audio.
I liked that the characters surprised me. I liked the world of the story, the sense of sacredness, the way that big questions were brought up in conversation. It's a lot different from the everyday world of today.
He was very subtle in his character work. I could distinguish characters most of the time. Sometimes I could not. He did a wonderful job overall.
No. It took a few weeks.
I'm glad I listened to it. It was a difficult book, but it was ambitious.
Not sure if I just never realized how melodramatic this novel was or if the reading really pushed it there. Maybe I was more or a teenager when I last read it. But the reading seemed to flatten out any nuance and make the characters and story seem absurd and overwrought.
"Beautiful, Addictive, Rewarding"
Never mind that my listening experience was marred by strange glitches in the audiobook (downloaded in enhanced quality) that mysteriously kept reappearing once in a while when I was listening on my iPod* but disappeared when I listened to it in iTunes, ”The Brothers Karamazov” is a jewel.
There were places when I was ready to give up, and only kept going because of pride. After a difficult section or two, however, I found moments of such sublimity of prose and characterization it’s impossibly beautiful, addictive and rewarding. I don't believe in the kind of self-deception that attaches importance to moments one doesn't like merely because the work at hand is a canonized classic. Instead, a work, when it really and truly does overwhelm its reader, itself gives meaning to the parts perceived as meaningless by the reader in the first place. One sees with new eyes if one is converted, and isn't that ultimately one of the goals an author tries to achieve? To convert us to believe, follow and take the leap? I did, and do.
"Karamazov" indeed works for me as described, shedding light retrospectively to portions of the book I couldn't connect with, these portions now illumined and shining brightly with new-found, glowing meaning. The result is that one wishes to return to those places that now possess a magical, glimmering new depth and colour.
Constantine Gregory certainly helps. His reading is among the finest I’ve heard, and I’ll certainly find out more works read by him. I also love Garnett’s translation, so I’m doubly satisfied.
* imagine lying in bed, the house all quiet, everyone else sleeping. You’re slowly drifting off yourself, still minutely hanging there as to be able to make sense of what you’re hearing, when suddenly there’s a loud electronic noise as if somebody yanked the plug from the surround system – that’s the kind of leisurely listening I’m referring to.
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